Sermon #1369 Miscellaneous Notes
Title: WHAT WILL IT TAKE
TO BRING YOU TO CHRIST?
Text: John 4:1-26
Reading: John 4:1-42
Subject: The Conversion of the Samaritan Woman
Date: Sunday Morning – October 3, 1999
Tape # V-47b
What will it take to bring you to Christ? Many of you have heard the gospel for years. You have been and are now the subjects of much prayer.
· Your Parents
· Your Pastor
· This Congregation
Yet, you are lost! I often ask myself this question, as I look into your faces and prepare to preach to you week after week. -- What will it take to bring you to Christ? Today, I want to answer that question by showing you how our Lord Jesus brought the Samaritan woman to life and faith in him.
Proposition: Conversion is the work of God alone.
May God the Holy Spirit be pleased to do what only he can do for you this hour. O Spirit of God, visit us this day and bring sinners to the Savior by your irresistible grace and power.
I want you to hold your Bibles open at John chapter four, as I show you what it will take for you to be saved. When I have finished preaching, there will be plenty of room for more preaching from this passage and about this subject. But, for now, I want o show you five things which are necessary for the conversion of a sinner. I can’t save you. Your parents can’t save you. This church can’t save you. But God can! And if he is pleased to do so, five things must take place.
I. You will never come to Christ until the Lord Jesus Christ Himself crosses your path.
A. The Son of God left Judea.
What a solemn word this is. Our Lord was in the midst of the Pharisees. He preached in their streets. He who is God’s salvation walked the streets of Judea and preached the gospel. But the Pharisees despised him and his gospel. They would not receive the Word of God. They preferred religion to righteousness. Therefore, the Lord Jesus left them. He left them in the darkness of their imaginary light. He left them to go to hell in the delusion of their self-righteousness. He left them to themselves!
Hear me and be warned. – If you trifle with Christ and the gospel of God’s grace in him, you court the wrath and judgment of God! If God leaves you to yourself, you are as sure for hell as if you were already there. I pray that God will not leave you o yourself.
If you go to hell, you will have no one to blame but yourself. It will be your own work, your own doing, your own fault (Pro. 1:23-31).
Illustration: “My God, preacher,
for Christ’s sake, leave me alone!
B. Your unbelief will not alter or in any way affect the purpose of God (Rom. 3:3-4).
God’s purpose does not depend upon the consent, will, or work of any man. You may not trust Christ. You may never come to him. But someone will. There is an elect remnant who must and shall be saved. At the appointed time of love, Christ will come to the sinner chosen by grace and redeemed by his precious blood. Look at verse four.
1. At the appointed time of love the Good Shepherd comes seeking his lost sheep.
This looks like a chance meeting, a lucky break, but it was nothing of the kind. In God’s eternal purpose, that place had been fixed before the world began. That parcel of ground was bought and that well was dug by Jacob because he desired it. But, more importantly, it was bought and dug so that Christ our Savior might come here to meet and save a lost, ruined sinner. The Son of God came here seeking one of those the Father gave to him before the world began. The woman did not come to the well seeking Christ; but he came to the well seeking her (Isa. 65:1).
2. Divine providence arranged for the needy sinner and the mighty Savior to be at the well at the same time.
She came to the well at noon (the sixth hour of the day), in the heat of the day, when it was most likely that no one else would be there, because she was a woman with a name and a reputation which made her the object of great scorn. Yet, she came at this hour because this was the hour fixed by God to save her.
3. Notice this, too. The Lord Jesus arranged to be alone with the object of his mercy, love, and grace. -- He sent his disciples away to buy (TO BUY, NOT TO BEG) bread (v. 8).
This Samaritan woman would never have come to Christ, had he not first crossed her path and come to her. And you will never come to him, unless he steps in your way, steps into your life, crosses your path, and comes to you. Oh, may he be pleased to do so!
II. Once he crossed her path, The Lord created an interest in her (vv. 10-14).
He asked her for a drink of water because he was thirsty, yes; but the thirst he had come to quench was his thirst for her soul. His request was designed to get her interest and attention.
The woman answered his request with a rude retort. Essentially, she said, “You’re a Jew. You wouldn’t have anything to do with me, if you didn’t need me. How dare you ask me to draw water for you! I know what you think of me.” But our Lord is long suffering toward his elect, not willing that any of them should perish. So he ignored her insult and pursued her heart. Look at verse ten.
There is much more in this verse than I can deal with now; but I want you to see the obvious things.
A. Salvation is the gift of God. (Rom. 6:23 – Not the Present – Not the Offer – Not the Opportunity – THE GIFT!)
Who can measure the gifts of God? They are innumerable! Yet, in one great gift, God gives all! Christ is the gift of God! The unspeakable gift of God! Christ is salvation! Christ is eternal life!
· Luke 2:30
· John 17:3
B. You will never be saved, you will never come to Christ, until you are made to know the gift of God.
Henry Mahan wrote, “This is the root of man's whole problem. The gift of God is salvation; it is eternal life (1 John 5:11). God is the giver; all we do is receive. Man does not know the gift, and he does not know Christ, the Giver! Neither does he know his need for mercy. 'If you knew these things, you would ask of me.' Asking proceeds from knowing. Before we ask, God has to deal with us in conviction and revelation. Notice Christ deals with her on the basis of who, not what; it is not doctrine, any more than doing, that saves. It is the person -- Jesus Christ!”
C. Salvation is to be had for the asking. – “Thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”
How close at hand salvation is! “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:8-9). Christ is willing to pour out this living water of grace, salvation, and eternal life to sinners in overflowing superabundance! “Ask and ye shall receive.”
D. All men by nature are totally ignorant of all things spiritual, until we are taught of God the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:9-14).
In verses 11 and 12, this poor woman did what all unregenerate people do when they talk, or try to talk about spiritual things. She showed her total ignorance. She had no idea who she was talking to, or what she was talking about. She was just talking.
Now, look at verses 13-14
E. Here the Lord Jesus declares the vanity of all earthly things.
How I wish we could see this. – These words are written by the finger of God over all the wells of this world. “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again.” The thirst that is in you, the thirst of your soul is too deep to be quenched by the waters of this world. Have you not found it to be so?
· Wealth and Position
· Fame and Honor
· Religion and Philosophy
· Lusts and Pleasure
But that person who is born of God, who receives the water of life, who has the grace of God, the Spirit of God, the Christ of God, and the light and life of God in his soul, shall never thirst again (1 Cor. 1:30; Col. 2:9-10).
You will never come to Christ until he comes to you and creates a thirst in your soul for something more than you can find in this world. Read on. Look at verses 15-18, and learn this.
III. You will not come to Christ until he exposes your sin to you.
Before a sinner comes to Christ for mercy, he must be made to know and acknowledge his sin before God. Because he intended to be gracious to her, the Lord Jesus made this woman know that she was utterly naked before him.
He laid bare what she thought she could keep hidden. This always makes sinners uncomfortable. You love darkness rather than light. You will not come to the light, lest your deeds be reproved. And when the light falls on you, you will immediately take refuge and try to turn the light away from yourself. That is exactly what happened next.
Look at verses 19-20.
Notice, she immediately changed her tone and the subject. She began to speak respectfully, and started talking religion. She wanted to get away from the subject of her immoral, lascivious, perverse behavior. Her conscience was pricked; and she tried to soothe her conscience by talking about her religion. She tried to break the barb off the Master’s arrow with the shield of religious controversy. Men love to talk about religion in general terms, just like this salty old girl. Here she is, a woman with less respectability than a prostitute, a woman who shacked up with one man, then another, without the least compunction, defending her father’s religion!
· Talking About Historic Doctrine!
· Talking About Future Things!
· Debating Debates!
But the Lord Jesus would not be led into her trap. He was far more concerned for her soul than he was in proving a point. So he did what only he can do. He destroyed her refuge of lies. Look at verses 21-24.
IV. You will never come to Christ and find refuge for your soul in him, until he destroys every false refuge, every refuge of lies, in which you attempt to hide from God.
I do not know what your refuge of lies is; but I know you have one. You have built some kind of fortress around your soul, a refuge in which you are, like Adam in the garden, hiding from God.
Notice how the Lord destroyed this woman’s refuge. He did not shake his finger in her face and say, “You Arminian Samaritans are all going to hell.” He simply told her the truth; and the truth, penetrating her heart, destroyed her refuge.
· “Woman, believe Me.”
· All true worship is spiritual worship.
· All true worship is based upon revealed truth (Phil. 3:1-3).
· God is seeking sinners to worship him in Spirit and in Truth.
If we would worship God, we must worship God in Christ, in the Holy Spirit, in the spirit of sincerity, in the spirit of faith, and in the truth of the Gospel (Heb. 4:14-16; 10:16-22).
Before you will come to Christ, he must first come to you, -- Create an interest in you for the things of God, -- Expose your sin, -- Destroy your refuge, and one more thing must be done. This is what it will take to bring you to Christ –
V. The Lord Jesus Christ must make himself known to you (vv. 25-26).
Slowly, but surely, the Word of God had done its work (Rom. 10:17; James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23). This woman was driven from her refuge of lies into the arms of the Son of God. As soon as she expressed a desire for the Christ of God, in whom alone sinners can worship God, he said, “I am!” – “I am he.”
That is salvation! That is what it takes to bring you to Christ – The revelation of Christ!
Once Christ is revealed to you and in you, that is enough. Nothing more is needed. The needy sinner and the sovereign Savior met face to face, and all was settled forever (Isa. 45:20-25; Matt. 11:28-30; 2 Cor. 4:4-6).